NGS’ NG/LNG SNAPSHOT – Feb-1-15, 2024

National News Internatonal News


City Gas Distribution & Auto LPG

First PNG domestic cooking gas connection in West Burdwan launched at Durgapur

Brijendra Pratap Singh, director in charge of SAIL’s Iisco Steel Plant and Durgapur Steel Plant inaugurated the first pipeline home cooking gas connection in West Burdwan district at Sail Cooperative Society complex in Durgapur on Thursday.


Brijendra Pratap Singh, director in charge of SAIL’s Iisco Steel Plant and Durgapur Steel Plant inaugurated the first pipeline home cooking gas connection in West Burdwan district at Sail Cooperative Society complex in Durgapur on Thursday.

Indian Oil Corporation and Adani Gas Limited joint venture City Gas Distribution Project had set up the Source Point of Piped Natural Gas (PNG) in Panagarh near Durgapur. In 2018, the joint venture bagged the City Gas Pipeline Projects of both West Burdwan and east Burdwan district floated by the Union ministry of petroleum and natural gas. GAIL is setting up gas pipeline from Jagdishpur to Haldia. In Gopalpur in Kanksha about 1,500 houses have received PNG. Subhajit Chakraborty, Project Head (Burdwan Geographical area) said that the consumers have to deposit Rs.7118, out of which Rs.7000 is refundable.

Every consumer will be provided with a meter and the billing period will be bi monthly. “The consumer can see how much gas he/she has consumed. There’s no need to keep gas cylinders, no need for booking and no need for gas agency staff to physically carry up gas cylinders in multi storeyed buildings,” added Subhajit Chakraborty. PNG gas is also 15 per cent cheaper than LPG. PNG also easily mixes with the air unlike LPG which makes it more safe for daily domestic usage, he said.

In Durgapur alone the target is to provide 20,000 PNG connections by 2025. The Union ministry of natural gas and petroleum has set an ambitious target of providing connections in 2.5 lakh houses in East and West Burdwan districts by 2023. The PNG will be provided in every households in all 31 blocks of East and West Burdwan district, he added. Durgapur Steel Plant has also inked a deal for pipelined natural gas supply in the township of SAIL in Durgapur with Indian Oil and Adani Gas.

Brijendra Pratap Singh said that though that the project was a bit delayed, he hoped that it will take speed and be completed within its stipulated time. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of the Rs.1200 crores City Gas Distribution Project of IOCAGL in East and West Burdwan districts in November 2018. The average natural gas consumption in India is about 6.2 per cent whereas globally it is 23.4 per cent. However, Gujarat has recorded an usage of 25 per cent.

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GAIL Gas Limited conducted Piped Natural Gas(PNG) campaign in NITK Surathkal, Mangaluru

Mangaluru, Feb 10, 2024: GAIL Gas Limited(GGL), the 100% owned subsidiary of GAIL (India) Ltd., a Maharatna PSU, conducted the Piped Natural Gas (PNG) campaign on Friday, 9th February at 5:00 pm ushering in a new era of sustainable energy in Mangaluru. The theme of this awareness drive was “Use PNG, Save Nature”.


Further, a PNG March was also organized jointly by GGL employees and NITK Students in NITK campus for promoting PNG awareness and to sensitize the residents of Mangaluru.

The PNG campaign raised awareness about the benefits of Piped Natural Gas(PNG) over conventional fuels like Economical, Convenient, Safe, Environment friendly and 24×7 uninterrupted Supply etc. to extend its reach to every household of Mangaluru.
The campaign aims to encourage city residents to adopt PNG as the preferred fuel for their kitchens, contributing to a cleaner and healthier environment in Namma Mangaluru.

About GAIL Gas

GAIL Gas is the wholly owned subsidiary of Maharatna PSU GAIL (India) Limited and it  has been authorized by Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) for laying, building, operating and expanding City Gas Distribution (CGD) network in the Geographical Area (GA) of Dakshina Kannada (DK) for supplying clean and green fuel of Piped Natural Gas (PNG) to the Households/Flats/Apartments/Residential Societies, Commercial & Industrial units and an environmentally friendly fuel alternative of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to automotive sector.

GAIL Gas Limited (GGL), a trailblazer in the City Gas Distribution (CGD) sector, is forging ahead with its ambitious CGD poject in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka state. The poject encompasses an extensive geographical expanse, spanning 4861 square kilometers, and includes the charged areas of Bantwal, Belthangady, Mangaluru, Puttur, and Sullia.

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IGL to set up India’s first CNG-to-LNG conversion plant

This pioneering project aims to enhance LNG accessibility, especially for stations beyond major port cities such as Ennore and Kochi.


New Delhi: Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) is set to establish India’s first small-scale plant for converting Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), said Kamal Kishore Chatiwal, Managing Director of IGL, during a post-results conference call.

This pioneering project aims to enhance LNG accessibility, especially for stations beyond major port cities such as Ennore and Kochi.IGL is also expanding its LNG infrastructure, with plans to commission 16 new LNG stations during the last quarter of the financial year 2023-24. The company is focusing on both LNG and compressed biogas (CBG) to enhance its volume and profitability.

Addressing the potential impact of electric vehicles on CNG sales, Chatiwal said, “We are optimistic that IGL will continue to grow in volume terms in future.”Parallel to this announcement, IGL reported a rise in its net profit for the December 2023 quarter, recording ₹475.45 crore, up from ₹334.06 crore in the December 2022 quarter. However, the company witnessed a 4 percent decline in consolidated revenue from operations, which stood at ₹3926.19 crore in the last quarter, compared to ₹4089.03 crore in the corresponding period a year ago.

The company’s profit before tax increased to ₹598.97 crore in Q3, compared to ₹444.91 crore in the same period last year. Additionally, earnings per share (EPS) surged to ₹6.79 per share in the last quarter from ₹4.77 per share in the December 2022 quarter.

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State to convert 5k MSRTC diesel buses to LNG

Mumbai: The state government has decided to convert Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) operated 5,000 diesel-run buses into those running on Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) over a period of three years, in a total of six phases, to promote green energy and also offer cost-effective transportation.


The use of this LNG fuel is expected to reduce pollution caused by diesel vehicles by about ten per cent. —Manthan K Mehta

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Natural Gas/ Pipelines/ Company News


ONGC, GAIL explore possibility of setting up strategic gas reserves

Amid a global lookout for natural gas supplies, state-run energy majors ONGC and GAIL are exploring the possibility of setting up strategic gas reserves in the country, said two people in the know.


The two options available are old oil wells and salt caverns, and whenever reserves are set up, old wells would hold most of the gas, they said.

“ONGC and GAIL are currently looking at the possibility. When talks go ahead, ISPRL (Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd) is expected to collaborate in the process,” said one of the people mentioned above.

The gas reserves are likely to be set up in the western coast of the country, the person said, adding that a team from India visited Europe to understand the technical knowhow and its application in Indian conditions.

Mint earlier reported that India is setting up a strategic gas reserve on the lines of its strategic petroleum reserve (SPR). Queries sent to ONGC, GAIL and ISPRL were not immediately responded.

The government has been considering the plan to set up strategic gas reserves over the past few years. However, given the critical technical and infrastructure issues involved, the plans have so far not taken a concrete shape.

The process has gained momentum with prospects of higher demand going ahead and a steep fall in gas prices over the past one year. India is a net importer of natural gas and the expansion in the city gas distribution sector, fertilizer manufacturing among others, the consumption of gas is expected to grow.

During the current financial year (April-December), India’s import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) stood at 22.85 billion metric standard cubic meter per day, against 20.01 billion metric standard cubic meter per day during the same period of the last fiscal.  

The Centre has set a target of increasing the share of gas in the energy basket to 15% by 2030 from the current 6%.

India already has strategic petroleum reserves and ISPRL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB) under the ministry of petroleum & natural gas, manages 5.33 million metric tonnes (MMT) of strategic crude oil storages in three locations in Vishakhapatnam, Mangalore and Padur.

The Vishakhapatnam facility with 1.33 MMT capacity was commissioned in June 2015, while Mangalore (1.5 MMT) and Padur (2.5 MMT) were commissioned in October 2016, and December 2018.

Further, ISPRL is preparing to lease out one of the 0.75 million tonnes-capacity storage caverns it operates in Mangalore, said the second person mentioned above, adding that foreign players are interested.
With this, the whole of the Mangaluru strategic petroleum reserve, which includes two caverns of 0.75 million tonne capacity each, will be leased out. UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has been storing crude in one of the caverns since 2018 and has signed an agreement to use the Padur facility as well.

ISPRL would soon issue expressions of interest for leasing out the cavern, the person added. It is also constructing two other reserves under Chandikhol, Odisha (4MMT) and is expanding the Padur facility by 2.5 MMT.

A parliamentary standing committee in December last year had suggested setting up of more strategic petroleum reserves. “The ministry may provide funds for creation of storage caverns to oil PSUs through ISPRL, while the oil PSUs can store and maintain the caverns for their usage,” the committee said in its report.

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Mahanagar Gas Limited Completes Its First Acquisition

Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL), one of the largest city gas distribution companies in India, announces the acquisition of 100% equity stake in Unison Enviro Private Limited (UEPL). This strategic acquisition, the first in MGL’s history, solidifies the company’s commitment to its long-term growth strategy.


The acquisition was completed on 1st February 2024, subsequent to the receipt of approval from Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) on 13th December 2023. Prior to the transfer, Ashoka Buildcon Ltd. (ABL) and an investment fund managed by Morgan Stanley India Infrastructure (MSII) held equity in UEPL.

Mr. Ashu Shinghal, Managing Director, Mahanagar Gas Limited said, “Unison Enviro Private Limited is our first acquisition. It is a momentous occasion for MGL, marking a significant milestone in our corporate history. The acquisition of UEPL aligns with our commitment towards realising our long-term growth plans. It will not only help expand our core business of City Gas Distribution but will also help UEPL in ensuring a higher growth trajectory by leveraging deep domain knowledge, optimisation of cost structure through possible integration and synergies.”

“We extend a warm welcome to the employees, partners, vendors, and customers of UEPL into the MGL family”, he added.

Mr. Ashish Kataria, Director of Ashoka Buildcon Limited, said, “The transaction showcases ABL’s ability to identify, implement and successfully divest in new and promising sectors. We have reiterated our commitment to give our investors a good return and help the country transition to cleaner energy. We thank our investor Morgan Stanley India Infrastructure for their contribution in making this a successful venture. With Mahanagar Gas Limited acquiring hundred per cent stake in UEPL, we are delighted to have delivered value to all its stakeholders.”

Mr. Shyamsundar Gurumoorthy, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley India Infrastructure, added, “At the time of our investment, UEPL was a pre-revenue company and its scale-up to a profitable business serving 25,000+ customers has been a rewarding journey. We are proud to have partnered with Ashoka Buildcon Limited to build UEPL.”

The Share Purchase Agreement between MGL, UEPL, and its shareholders, ABL and MSII, was signed on 3rd March 2023, resulting in the acquisition at a cash consideration of Rs 562 crore. HDFC Bank served as the exclusive Transaction Advisor to MGL, while Kotak Mahindra Capital Company was the exclusive financial advisor to Ashoka Buildcon Limited and the investment fund managed by Morgan Stanley India Infrastructure.

In addition to this landmark acquisition, MGL has further diversified its energy portfolio with the establishment of Mahanagar LNG Private Limited. MGL is also working with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to set up one of the largest Biogas plants based on Municipal Solid Waste in Mumbai. Hydrogen, EV, Renewables are adjacent areas for MGL to expand its energy portfolio for which the company is actively engaged in exploring opportunities to fuel its growth.

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Vedanta seeks buyers for natural gas from Barmer field

New Delhi: Vedanta is seeking buyers for 2.8 million metric standard cubic meters a day (mmscmd) of natural gas it plans to produce in 2024-25 from its Barmer block in Rajasthan.


The gas will be auctioned on February 21 and bidders can seek a minimum volume of 50,000 standard cubic meters per day (scmd).

The sales price of the gas would be determined by combining the monthly value of Asian spot LNG benchmark JKM with a variable that bidders would quote in the auction. The value of the variable would start from a negative $0.20 per mmbtu. At the current JKM value of $9.4 per mmbtu, the starting bids would be $9.2.The gas price will be subject to a floor determined by adding $0.40 to the government-set price ceiling for domestic gas from difficult fields. With the current price ceiling at $9.96 per mmbtu, the floor would be $10.36 per mmbtu. The price ceiling is revised every year in April and October.

Bidders are required to provide bank guarantees. Vedanta aims to conclude gas sales agreements with buyers by March 1.

The gas will be delivered at the Raageshwari terminal of the Barmer block. The gas field is connected to the Mehsana – Bhatinda pipeline.

Increased availability of domestic gas is expected to spur consumption. Falling international prices have already boosted imports and domestic consumption. Domestic gas is usually cheaper than imports.

Indian gas marketers have recently stitched multiple LNG import deals to meet future gas demand in the country. In January, GAIL tied up with Vitol for the purchase of 1 million tonnes per year of LNG, and with UAE’s Adnoc Gas for half a million tonnes per year of LNG.

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PNGRB invites bids to develop landmark Jammu-Srinagar gas pipeline

After the strategic train to Kashmir, another landmark development – to build a gas pipeline to Kashmir has been set in motion.. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has initiated a bidding process for the construction of the Jammu-Srinagar gas pipeline. The Board is actively inviting bids for the authorisation to lay, build, operate, and expand the natural gas pipeline, targeting an initial system capacity of at least 2.0 MMSCMD, including common carrier capacity. 


The official commencement of the bidding process on January 12, 2023, follows PNGRB’s recognition of the pressing natural gas requirements in Jammu and Kashmir. This led to the formulation of the Jammu-Srinagar natural gas pipeline project last year. 

Following comprehensive public consultations and discussions with stakeholders, PNGRB has opted to invite online applications and bids for authorisation to develop the pipeline. The proposed project is expected to span approximately 325 kilometres, with a mandated minimum system capacity of at least 2.0 MMSCMD, encompassing carrier capacity for the entirety of its economic lifespan. 

The envisaged gas pipeline will originate from the termination point of GAIL (India) Limited’s Gurdaspur-Jammu Natural Gas Pipeline, utilising GAIL’s infrastructure as a source for the Jammu-Srinagar pipeline. The authorised entity will be responsible for providing spur lines to accommodate the routing of the pipeline in compliance with customer requirements and pertinent regulations. 

The Union Budget for the fiscal year 2022-23 introduced a new gas pipeline project aimed at fostering the development of Jammu and Kashmir. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman underscored the strategic importance of the Jammu-Srinagar pipeline, emphasising its potential to enhance energy security and stimulate economic activities in the region. 

The pipeline is slated to have an initial capacity of at least 2 MMSCMD, with provisions for future expansion. It will be seamlessly connected to a 175-kilometre pipeline currently under construction by the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) from Gurdaspur to Jammu. 

Apart from its economic impact, the Jammu-Srinagar gas pipeline project holds significance in terms of energy security and sustainability. The increased availability of natural gas in the region is expected to contribute to a cleaner energy mix and reduce dependence on traditional fossil fuels. 

The PNGRB is meticulously overseeing the entire bidding process, with the deadline for the submission of bids set for May 13, 2024. 

This transformative project is poised to play a pivotal role in the economic development of the Kashmir Valley, aligning with the vision articulated by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget announcement. It is anticipated to create job opportunities, spur industrial growth, and provide a reliable energy source for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

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Policy Matters/ Gas Pricing/ Others

 FM announces financial aid for converting biomass into compressed biogas, phased mandatory blending

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced financial assistance for converting biomass into Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) and phased mandatory blending of CBG with natural gas to be used as fuel for vehicles and domestic supplies.


The objective of the scheme will be to support the transition towards energy security.

”Phased mandatory blending of CBG in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for transport and Piped Natural Gas (PNG) for domestic purposes will be mandated,” Sitharaman said in her interim Budget speech in the Lok Sabha.

She further said financial assistance will be provided for procurement of biomass aggregation machinery to support collection.

She told the House that for promoting green growth, a new scheme of bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry will be launched.

This will provide environment-friendly alternatives, such as biodegradable polymers, bio-plastics, bio-pharmaceuticals, and bio-agri-inputs, she said.

This scheme will also help transform today’s consumptive manufacturing paradigm to the one based on regenerative principles, she said. India Biogas Association Chairman Gaurav Kedia told PTI, ”Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today (Thursday) presented financial assistance for machinery for the procurement of biomass schemes during Union Budget 2024, which will support the use of biomass to covert into CBG as part of the government’s commitment to a greener future.” The focus on promoting innovative research toward a greener future will help create a cleaner, greener, and more prosperous future to ensure Viksit Bharat by 2047, he said.

The government’s commitment to Viksit Bharat will also take shape with the Jai Anusandhan tagline.

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LNG Use / LNG Development and Shipping

GAIL (India) signs LNG deal with ADNOC Gas

ADNOC Gas on Tuesday signed a 10-year agreement to supply 0.5 million metric tons per year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to India’s largest Natural Gas Company, GAIL (India) Limited.


This is pursuant to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) dated 30 October 2022 between GAIL and ADNOC Gas.

Under this agreement, the deliveries will commence from 2026 onwards for a duration of 10 years, across India.

Gas consumption in India would rise to over 500mcm/d by 2030 from the present 155 mcm/d, Indian oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri said earlier in January.

GAIL has an LNG portfolio of around 14 million tons per year comprising supplies from countries including the USA, Qatar, Australia and Russia, based on its 2022/23 annual report.

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India to begin LNG supplies to Sri Lanka in 2025

Sri Lanka is seeking supply of gas in liquid form to meet requirements for generating electricity and other industries. It was in discussions with Petronet and other suppliers for years and it is only now that it has finally agreed to buy the fuel from the Indian firm.


Petronet LNG Ltd, India’s biggest liquefied natural gas company, will in 2025 start supplying LNG to Sri Lanka, initially in containers loaded on ships and later going on to build an import terminal, its chief executive said on Thursday.

Sri Lanka is seeking supply of gas in liquid form to meet requirements for generating electricity and other industries. It was in discussions with Petronet and other suppliers for years and it is only now that it has finally agreed to buy the fuel from the Indian firm.

Petronet CEO Akshay Kumar Singh said the company will ship 850 tonnes of gas daily to the island nation in containers of 17 tonnes each. The supplies would be for five years during which the company will build a floating LNG receipt facility at Colombo port. “The supplies will start in 18 months or so,” he said.

The Indian firm imports LNG from Qatar, Australia and other countries at two terminals – Dahej terminal in Gujarat and a facility at Kochi in Kerala.

It plans to load LNG or super-chilled gas in containers from Kochi in containers. A ship will make a ferry every two days, carrying 100 such containers. At Colombo, a small regasification unit will turn the LNG into gaseous state again for use in gas-fired power plants.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of India Energy Week, Singh said Petronet also plans to commission a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) in Colombo, for which it hopes to get Sri Lankan government approval by 2025. The facility will be built by 2028.

“We have not finalised the investment plan but it may roughly cost Rs 2,500 crore,” he said adding the company will do a detailed feasibility report once the Sri Lankan government approves FRSU proposal.

Singh said Petronet, which earlier this week extended a 7.5 million tonnes a year LNG import deal with Qatar for another 20 years beyond 2028, is looking at sourcing more gas, including on long term contracts.

It is expanding the Dahej facility from 17.5 million tonnes per annum to 22.5 million tonnes and is looking to build a new terminal in Odisha. Also, its 5 million tonnes a year Kochi facility will by next year start operating at full capacity after a pipeline taking the gas to consumers in Bengaluru gets commissioned. Kochi is currently operating at a fifth of its capacity, he said.

“So naturally, there will be a requirement for more gas,” he said but refused to say how many long-term contracts the company is looking to tie up. “We need more long-term deals. It is a country requirement.” Besides 7.5 million tonnes from Qatar, LNG is also imported from the Gorgon project in Australia. Currently, 1.44 million tonnes a year of LNG is imported, which will rise by 1.2 million tonnes between 2025-26 to 2028, he said.

The Indian economy is expanding at a world-beating pace and it needs energy supplies to meet its needs. Natural gas is considered a transition fuel to net zero carbon emissions.

The government is targeting raising the share of natural gas in the primary energy basket to 15 per cent by 2030 from the current 6.2 per cent. With domestic production hardly meeting half of the demand, the fuel is imported in the form of LNG.

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Adani Total says Dhamra LNG terminal operating at 55% utilisation rate

QUITOL: Adani Total Pvt Ltd’s Dhamra terminal has received 15 commercial liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes since commissioning in May 2023 and is operating at a utilisation rate of 55%, CEO Satinder Pal Singh said on Tuesday.


Singh, speaking on the sidelines of the India Energy Week event in the state of Goa, said the capacity of the terminal on India’s east coast could be doubled and the company is in the early stages of planning its expansion.

The 5 million tons per annum (mtpa) LNG terminal, in which French energy giant TotalEnergies SE has a 50% stake, has a 20-year take-or-pay contract to provide regasification services to state-run Indian Oil Corp and GAIL (India) Ltd.

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Petronet renews long term LNG deal with QatarEnergy 

State-run Petronet LNG has inked a 20 year contract for procuring 7.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar.

This is pursuant to extension of an existing LNG sale and purchase agreement (SPA) for the supply of around 7.5 mtpa on FOB basis and was signed in July, 1999 for supplies till 2028. The negotiations of the deal concluded in December last year.


Under the new agreement, LNG supplies will be made on a delivered (DES) basis commencing from 2028 till 2048.

Petronet LNG MD and CEO Akshay Kumar Singh said, “The existing long-term agreement between Petronet LNG and QatarEnergy today accounts for around 35 per cent of India’s LNG imports and is of national importance.”

Similar to an earlier agreement of 1999, the LNG volumes under the new SPA shall also be off-taken by GAIL (India) Ltd (60 per cent), Indian Oil Corporation (30 per cent) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation (10 per cent) after regasification, primarily from Dahej Terminal of Petronet on substantially back to back basis.

The deal with QatarEnergy was announced on the same day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the India Energy Week (IEW) in Goa. The deal was signed in the presence of Oil Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri and Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi.

Al-Kaabi said, “This agreement is another key milestone in the long-standing energy partnership between Qatar and India and comes on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the first LNG shipment to India.”

Better price

Sources said that the new long term deal has been in India’s favour as it has inked the contract on better prices, same as has been offered to countries such as China.

In May last year, Singh had said that Qatar sells 7.5 mtpa LNG to India at an indexation of 12.67 per cent of the prevailing Brent price plus $0.52 per mBtu (million British thermal unit). At a price of $100 a barrel of crude, the gas price comes for $13.19 per mBtu. It also purchases additional 1 mtpa of LNG at a slight variation to this price.

On lower prices for future contracts, he had said that Qatar inked contracts with Bangladesh, China and Pakistan at a lower slope (less than 12.67 per cent). “Our expectation is to have the long-term deal renewed at those levels. We are very seriously engaged with them and are negotiating for a better price,” Singh had explained.

Qatar-US LNG face-off

The deal with Petronet also underscores an urgency on part of the Arab nation to secure deals to tie up its 126 mtpa LNG capacity, which is expected to be operational by 2027.

Analysts point out that Asia, particularly China and India, have become more important for Qatar as it faces stiff competition from the US, especially in Europe, whose dependence on US LNG hit a new record of 45 per cent in Gas Year (GY) 2022-23 (October-September).

According to CEDIGAZ, the share of Europe in total US LNG export volumes continued to rise in GY 2022-23, reaching 68 per cent (up from 61 per cent in GY 2021-22 and 29 per cent in GY 2020-21.

The competition between Qatar and the US is expected to escalate as North America is also adding LNG capacities. According to the US EIA (November 2023), “By the end of 2027, we estimate LNG export capacity will grow by 1.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in Mexico, 2.1 Bcf/d in Canada and 9.7 Bcf/d in the US from a total of 10 new projects across the three countries.”

In the past year, Qatar has inked long term LNG deals with The Netherlands, France, China, Bangladesh, among others. The company has in the past said that several Asian and European buyers have evinced interest in signing one term contracts.

The world’s top LNG importer is implementing its North Field East (NFE) expansion project to raise production capacity from 77 mtpa to 110 mtpa in the first phase. In the second phase, the North Field South Project (NFS) will further increase the output to 126 mtpa by 2027.

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Electric Mobility/ Hydrogen/Bio-Methane

Green measures announced by Finance Minister in Interim Budget

While presenting the interim budget for 2024, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a set of measures to boost the green economy and the blue economy

Among other measures pertaining to finance and infrastructure, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also announced some green initiatives and steps which will be taken for India to meet its net-zero commitments by 2070 in the interim budget presented in the Lok Sabha today. She also highlighted some efforts which will go towards creating a ‘Blue economy.’


Ms. Sitharaman announced that viability gap funding would be provided for harnessing offshore wind energy potential for initial capacity of one giga-watt.

Further, coal gasification and liquefaction capacity of 100 MT shall be set up by 2030, she said, highlighting that this will also help in reducing imports of natural gas, methanol, and ammonia. The Centre also proposes phased blending of compressed biogas in compressed natural gas (CNG) for transport, as well as piped natural gas (PNG) for households. Financial assistance will be given for those seeking to procure biomass aggregation machinery, she shared.

As far as green transport goes, Ms. Sitharaman announced that the e-vehicle ecosystem will be expanded through support to manufacturing and charging infrastructure. Greater adoption of e-buses for public transport networks will be encouraged through payment security mechanism, she said.

Green growth is expected to receive an impetus through a new scheme for bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry, which will provide eco-friendly alternatives such as biodegradable polymers, bio-plastics, bio-pharmaceuticals and bio-agri-inputs. This is expected to push adoption of regenerative principles.

Ms. Sitharaman’s speech also announced certain measures to promote climate resilient activities for blue economy 2.0. These include a scheme for restoration and adaptation measures as well as a multi-sectoral approach towards coastal aquaculture and mariculture.

According to the World Bank, a blue economy refers to a “sustainable use of economic resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health.”

The speech also mentioned enhancing public transport, saying that Metro Rail and NaMo Bharat or Regional Rapid Transit services could be the catalyst for urban transformation and that these systems will be expanded in cities.

Touching upon green power while discussing measures to develop electricity infrastructure, the Finance Minister highlighted that one crore households will be enabled to obtain up to 300 units free electricity every month through rooftop solarization.

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Charging infra push to electrify EV adoption

New Delhi: The finance minister’s announcement on supporting the development of an ecosystem for electric mobility is expected to help boost manufacturing of electric vehicles as well as address one of the biggest obstacles to EV adoption: lack of convenient battery charging stations.


“… will expand and strengthen the e-vehicle ecosystem by supporting manufacturing and charging infrastructure,” FM Nirmala Sitharaman said in her interim budget speech on Thursday.

Lack of charging stations has been a key concern for those wanting to buy electric vehicles, as that made them worried about the battery draining out, stalling the vehicle.

While carmakers are awaiting details like the number of charging stations the government is aiming to set up, industry executives said the overall budget intent to encourage adoption of EVs, especially in the public transport segment, will help consumers switch to cleaner forms of mobility.

“The announcement on strengthening the electric vehicle ecosystem by supporting manufacturing and charging infrastructure will boost the development and adoption of EVs in the country,” Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) president Vinod Aggarwal said. “The payment security mechanism for adoption of e-buses for the public transport network is also a good step.”

The government is already working towards expanding the EV charging infrastructure across the country. Last year, the ministry of heavy industries sanctioned Rs 800 crore as a capital subsidy to three state-run oil marketing companies to establish 7,432 public EV charging stations by March 2024. It also approved setting up of 148 charging stations by other entities under this scheme.

There were 6,586 charging stations in India at the end of March 2023.

In her budget speech, Sitharaman said emphasis will be given to bring on road more electric buses to reduce vehicular emissions and realise the country’s net-zero targets.

“Greater adoption of e-buses for public transport networks will be encouraged through a payment security mechanism,” the minister added.

The payment security mechanism usually comprises a fund that provides interest-free capital in case of default in payments.

The government has reduced the allocation under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme to Rs 4,807 crore in the revised estimates for fiscal 2024, from the initial budget estimate of Rs 5,172 crore. It had allocated Rs 2,403 crore in FY23.

The FY25 outlay at Rs 2,671 crore is part of the existing allocation of FAME-II and will be used to clear claims. The government has so far not said anything officially about extending the scheme.

Sitharaman said rooftop solarisation – which will enable 10 million households to obtain up to 300 units of free electricity every month – will, among other factors, help in charging of electric vehicles.

The FAME scheme has been successful in achieving goals over the adoption of electric two-wheelers and buses. But its implementation was marred by alleged instances of companies not adhering to localisation commitments while claiming subsidies.

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IGL looking to set up 19 compressed biogas plants

The firm has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with two technology partners to set up compressed biogas plants in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, it said.


Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL), the nation’s biggest city gas operator, is looking to set up as many as 19 compressed biogas plants in four states as part of its efforts to expand business beyond natural gas and embrace cleaner forms of energy.

The firm has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with two technology partners to set up compressed biogas plants in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, it said.

The MoUs were signed during the India Energy Week 2024 here.

Gas produced from municipal and agri waste will be mixed or blended in conventional gas and sold as CNG to automobiles and piped gas for cooking and industrial purposes.

“Additionally, IGL has already empanelled two other partners for the same purpose,” the firm said. “The biogas produced from these 19 plants shall be fed into IGL’s city gas distribution network”.

IGL retails CNG and piped natural gas in the national capital and adjoining cities.

India, which imports more than 85 per cent of its crude oil requirement, is stepping up efforts to explore new forms of energy to clean up the skies and reduce dependence on imported fuels.

The government has mandated 1 per cent blending of Compressed BioGas (CBG) in domestic natural gas and piped natural gas from April 2025, and this will be raised gradually to 5 per cent from 2028-29.

The CBG blending obligation is aimed at promoting production and consumption of compressed biogas in the country. It is likely to lead to an establishment of 750 compressed biogas projects across the country by 2028-29.

A central repository body will monitor and implement the blending mandate based on operational guidelines.

IGL said the MoUs were signed in the presence of K K Chatiwal, Managing Director of IGL, Pawan Kumar, Director (Commercial) of IGL and other officials.

“This partnership aims to produce 0.45 million standard cubic meters per day of biogas from waste, equivalent to approximately 5 per cent of IGL’s daily requirements,” IGL said.

The MoUs promise to be a win-win situation for stakeholders like municipal authorities, City Gas Distribution (CGD) entities, farmers and the public at large. While municipal authorities will get rid of municipal waste, farmers will be able to dispose of agricultural waste, CGD entities will get cheaper gas and public shall get clean environment, it said.

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Govt unveils guidelines for supporting pilot projects using Green Hydrogen in shipping sector

The government has come out with guidelines for providing financial support to pilot projects for using green hydrogen in the shipping sector

New Delhi: The government has come out with guidelines for providing financial support to pilot projects for using green hydrogen in the shipping sector. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways will be the nodal ministries for the implementation of the scheme. The guidelines, named ‘Scheme Guidelines for implementation of Pilot projects for use of Green Hydrogen in the Shipping Sector,’ aims “to support the deployment of Green Hydrogen and its derivatives as fuel for ship propulsion, including bunkering and refueling, on a pilot basis.”


Under the National Green Hydrogen Mission, along with other initiatives, the MNRE will implement pilot projects in the shipping sector, for replacing fossil fuels and fossil fuel-based feedstock with Green Hydrogen and its derivatives. These pilot projects will be implemented through the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and the implementing agencies nominated under this scheme. The scheme will be implemented with a total budgetary outlay of Rs 115 crore till the financial year 2025-26.

Use of green hydrogen in shipping sector pilot projects

Two areas have been identified as thrust areas under the pilot projects. These are retrofitting of existing ships so as to enable them to run on Green Hydrogen or its derivatives; and development of bunkering and refuelling facilities in ports on international shipping lanes for fuels based on Green Hydrogen.

“These pilot projects will help identify operational issues and gaps in terms of current technology readiness, regulations, implementation methodologies, infrastructure and supply chains. These will serve as valuable inputs for future scaling and commercial deployment of Green Hydrogen in the shipping sector,” say the guidelines.

“The use of Green Hydrogen and its derivatives in the shipping sector, through the proposed pilot projects, will lead to the development of necessary infrastructure including refuelling stations, storage, and distribution networks, resulting in the establishment of a Green Hydrogen ecosystem in the shipping sector. The utilisation of green hydrogen in the shipping industry is expected to increase over the years, with the expected reduction in its production cost,” said the MNRE.

 Financial support of Rs 80 cr for component A, Rs 35 cr for component B

Based on preliminary estimates, the MNRE intends to provide support of Rs 80 crore for Component A (retrofitting of existing ships) and Rs 35 crore for Component B (creation of bunkers and refueling facilities). The government wants India to become a Green Hydrogen refuelling destination for ships from across the world.

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Natural Gas / Transnational Pipelines/ Others

Austria: OMV ready for potential halt in Russian gas deliveries

Austrian player will continue to purchase Russian pipeline gas as long as it is delivered to its border with Slovakia

Austria’s OMV has said it will continue buying Russian pipeline gas as long as shipments are made available at an agreed contractual delivery point under the company’s long-term purchase contract with Gazprom Export — and notwithstanding the heavy losses the company has incurred in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine.


Speaking in a conference call from Vienna on Thursday, OMV chief executive Alfred Stern said the company strictly adheres to the contractual “take-or-pay” clause, accepting Russian pipeline gas at a border point between Slovakia and Austria.

Stern said Russian gas supplies stabilised last year after fluctuating in 2022.

However, he said the company is fully prepared for a possible halt in Russian gas supplies in January 2025, with deliveries from alternative destinations secured despite Austria lack of a port to receive direct shipments of liquefied natural gas.

“OMV has indeed prepared for scenarios of an interruption of Russian gas supplies,” the company said in a statement provided to Upstream.

“OMV has continued to actively pursue the diversification of supply, sourcing natural gas from OMV’s own production in Norway and Austria, as well as from Norwegian natural gas producers. It has also contracted long-term LNG regasification capacities at the GATE terminal in Rotterdam,” the company said.

“OMV also participates as a potential buyer in the auctions of the EU Joint Gas Purchasing Platform. In addition, OMV also has access to all major Central and North-West European natural gas trading and capacity marketplaces.”

Under the contract with Gazprom Export, Russian gas is delivered to OMV via a network of legacy pipelines running across Ukraine and Slovakia.

Governmental officials in Ukraine have repeatedly said they are not planning to enter into talks with Russia and Gazprom to negotiate a new transit agreement for Russian gas after the current five-year contract expires at the end of this year.

However, Slovakia has requested that Kyiv continue shipping Russian gas through its territory in 2025.

Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico earlier suggested that there had been a change in Ukraine’s stance, which Kyiv has vehemently denied.

“An agreement arose that the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine will probably continue, which is great news,” Fico said in a video message broadcast on social media after meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal last week.

Moldova’s gas importer and distributor Moldovagaz likewise has suggested that Ukraine, as a signatory of the 1991 European Energy Charter, cannot refuse Russian gas transits to Moldova, which has also signed the treaty.

Gazprom had sent Russian pipeline gas through Ukraine at an average rate of more than 40 million cubic metres per day in 2023, with about 5 MMcmd of that volume being delivered to Moldova.

Speaking on Thursday, Stern suggested the possible switch away from Russian pipeline gas will take some time, as networks in Eastern Europe are upgraded to flow gas west to east, rather than the east-to-west direction of flow that the system operated under for decades.

Stern has also acknowledged that the company has yet to work out its response to the loss of its 25% share in a gas-producing venture with Gazprom that operated the South Russkoye gas and condensate field in West Siberia.

The company is still examining President Vladimir Putin’s December decree that transferred OMV’s shareholding to a Russian entity, and deciding on its next steps, Stern said.

The company firmly believes the decree amounts to “an expropriation” of its property but said it will not incur any new losses, having written down its Russian investment in 2022.(Copyright)

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Nigeria: Shell to Supply Dangote Refinery 100mscf/d Gas for 10 Years

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and its joint venture partners – Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, TotalEnergies EP Nigeria Limited, and Nigerian Agip Oil Company – have taken the final investment decision (FID) to build a dedicated upstream facility to supply 100 million standard cubic feet of gas per day to Dangote Fertiliser and Petrochemical Plant in Lekki, Lagos State, for 10 years.


The Managing Director of SPDC, Mr Osagie Okunbor, disclosed this last Friday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, describing the FID as a significant step in supporting the Nigerian government’s Decade of Gas ambition.

“This investment decision is a critical step in pursuing the development of the gas-rich Iseni field, which is part of the Okpokunou Cluster in Oil Mining Lease 35 located in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State,” Mr Okunbor said.

He added that SPDC and its joint venture partners remained committed to Nigeria’s Decade of Gas ambition and, particularly, the domestic gas agenda. The Decade of Gas initiative was launched by President Muhammdu Buhari in 2021 to boost the domestic gas market, deepen natural gas utilization as an alternative transportation fuel, virtual gas supply to off-pipeline grid gas customers, and gas utilization as feedstock for the development of gas-based industries.

Mr According to Mr Okunbor, increasing the delivery of natural gas to the domestic market is key to accelerated industrialization and economic development of Nigeria.

The FID signals a positive step towards the construction of the required infrastructure for the project that is expected to create jobs through direct and indirect employment.

Dangote boasts Africa’s largest granulated urea fertiliser complex and produces around 65 per cent of Nigeria’s domestic fertiliser requirements. The project will supply gas which will enhance the Dangote Fertiliser and Petrochemical Plant’s ability to deliver on its promise to the Nigerian people and government.

Recall that the new 650,000 barrel-a-day oil refinery commenced operations earlier this month. Initially targeting a processing rate of 350,000 barrels per day, the refinery aims to gradually escalate production towards its full capacity.

The $19.5 billion refinery, which was officially inaugurated by former President Muhammadu Buhari two weeks before the end of his administration in May 2023, will increase its production in phases. It has begun with the production of diesel and jet fuel.

The plant will not rely on Nigerian crude as it will consider other sources, including the US and Saudi Arabia. It recently bought 2 million barrels of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Midland crude from Trafigura Group for delivery by the end of February.

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US: U.S. Natural Gas Consumption Hits New Record

The consumption of natural gas in the United States reached a new record on January 16, 2024, the Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday.

On January 16, a record amount of natural gas was consumed in the United States Lower 48 states. A record 141.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) was consumed on that day, beating the previous record set on December 23, 2022, the EIA said, citing estimates from S&P Global Commodity Insights.


From January 14 to January 21 of this year, natural gas consumption in the Lower 48 averaged more than 130 Bcf per day as temperatures fell and extreme wind chills and freezing rain hit the Pacific Northwest, the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, and parts of Texas. Nearly half—49%–of the natural gas consumed during that period came from residential and commercial users. As a percentage of all natural gas consumed, this is higher than at the beginning of January, when residential and commercial consumers made up just 42% of the natural gas demand.

Due to the high demand, natural gas withdrawn from underground storage also hit close-to-record volumes, the EIA said, reaching 326 Bcf during the week of January 13 to January 19. This is the third highest rate of withdrawal from storage on record, the EIA said, referencing its Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report, which showed the previous records that were hit in January 2018 and February 2021.

The IEA forecast last week that lower prices and higher demand this winter would drive a return to strong growth in global natural gas consumption in 2024. According to the IEA’s Gas Market Report for Q1 of this year, natural gas demand is poised for a 2.5% growth this year, after a disappointing 0.5% growth seen last year thanks in part to last winter’s mild nature.

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Natural Gas / LNG Utilization

Qatar: ABS Global LNG Academy up and running in Qatar

American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has inaugurated a training center in Doha, Qatar, dedicated to using the latest techniques to educate marines in modern LNG vessel operationsThe ABS Global LNG Academy, which is supported by state-owned energy giant QatarEnergy, is a coordinated effort with industry partners to make the academy the global epicenter for LNG-related training and development, ABS said.


Establishing the training center is also a key part of ABS’ support of Qatar’s National Vision 2030 and the Tawteen Program.

“Qatar offers an ideal location for the establishment of ABS’ global LNG Academy, allowing us to combine Qatar’s LNG operational leadership with ABS’ record of safety leadership and technical and regulatory LNG knowledge. This one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art facility offers a unique learning experience both on board and through immersive classroom simulation training,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman and CEO.

The center is designed to offer theoretical and practical training to support safety in the various aspects of LNG carriage and the safe handling of LNG as a marine fuel.

In cooperation with Nakilat, ABS is delivering the industry’s first fully operational LNG metaSHIP. Powered by Orka, the MetaSHIP is a highly realistic virtual asset, built to scale from vessel drawings, and they take learners on virtual field trips – providing a powerful, immersive learning experience in a dynamic simulated training environment, ABS explained, adding that as part of the training, learners interact with the vessel and its crew.

The ABS LNG Academy’s simulator training room also offers gas handling operations and engine room simulation courses offered by GTT Training and the Theta Training Center.

ABS and Poten & Partners offer a collaborative LNG Commercial Operations course providing a foundational understanding about how commercial operations of LNG carriers are effectively managed throughout their life cycles. 


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Global LNG Development

Africa: LNG demand, economics and FLNG projects in Africa

Africa is a considerable natural gas resource and LNG exporter, but local sales are subsidised and greater rewards for new developments may lie down the LNG routeSpeaking at the Global LNG Developments session at the LNG Shipping & Terminals Conference 2023 in November 2023 in London, FTI Consulting senior managing director, Emmanuel Grand, explained the outlook for LNG in Africa, while UTM group managing director, Julius D. Rone, related the policies and tasks required to bring the first FSRU to Africa.

Mr Grand provided an in-depth analysi


s of the LNG landscape in Africa, focusing on various factors such as supply and demand dynamics, pricing complexities, infrastructure costs, and the impact of volatile markets.

The presentation also highlighted contrasting perspectives on LNG pricing and long-term trends. Africa boasts significant growth potential in terms of gas demand. However, certain challenges, such underpriced and subsidised gas, as well as cost recovery issues for electric utilities, pose obstacles in the region.

On the supply side, Africa possesses robust natural gas reserves and a range of forthcoming LNG projects. Mr Grand also drew attention to potential pricing disputes and the upward trajectory of long-term LNG prices, which have implications for infrastructure and overall market efficiency.

According to Mr Grand, Africa is expected to experience the highest gas demand growth rate globally, although there remains considerable uncertainty surrounding such forecasts. There is a basket of forecasts that range from the conservative to the optimistic, including one that sees Africa lifted out of poverty.

“What are the challenges for LNG to capture that demand? I think one of them is the question of prices,” said Mr Grand.

The key challenge for LNG demand in Africa is that there is a marked contrast in how gas prices are determined globally compared to the African context. A significant portion of Africa’s gas is regulated at prices below cost, resulting in subsidies that complicate the expansion of gas demand.

In Africa, the demand for gas is primarily driven by power generation. However, this presents challenges as electric utilities face difficulties in recovering costs, often leading to subsidies and limited capacity to pay for gas.

“We are aware we that 60% of gas [globally], is based on market index,” said Mr Grand, “This is only 13% in Africa.”

Despite the challenges, African gas supply is promising, with potential growth in both LNG export and import capacity. Mr Grand also shed light on commercial trends, acknowledging the volatility of the environment and its subsequent impact on infrastructure costs.

“[In Africa] about 80% of urban population is electrified,” he said, “but less than 30% of the rural population.” This will place a strain on infrastructure growth and the in-country reach of LNG.

Subsequent energy generation was also touched upon by Mr Rone in his presentation.

Mr Grand also discussed security, emphasising the high volatility and increased charter rates that reflect the value of flexible infrastructure and indicated the potential economic implications for African LNG projects due to the anticipated rise in the cost of these flexible assets.

In his summary, Mr Grand noted that there are various challenges regarding LNG demand in Africa, particularly the issue of gas pricing, with a substantial portion of gas being regulated at prices below cost.

Addressing these challenges and capitalising on growth opportunities will be instrumental in shaping Africa’s LNG landscape, noted Mr Grand, and these opportunities are being met by companies like UTM.

UTM is a Nigerian company developing the first floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Nigeria, in partnership with the Nigeria National Oil Company and PCL Limited. The project has gained support from the Nigerian government and policy makers, which are promoting natural gas as an environmentally friendly energy source and a catalyst for industrialisation.

During his presentation, Mr Rone announced the company’s development of Nigeria’s inaugural floating LNG project in collaboration with the National Oil Company. This aligns with the Nigerian government’s focus on gas development to meet infrastructure needs and protect the environment.

The government is providing support to the project through favourable regulatory frameworks, policies, and incentives such as tax breaks, grants, subsidies, and market access. These measures aim to attract private investment and reduce overall project costs.

UTM is working on developing a capacity of 1.79M tonnes per annum (mtpa) for the project, in a water depth of 64 m, some 60 km from the shore. The proposed floating LNG is expected to produce 0.3M tonnes of LPG and 1.3M tonnes of condensate to meet domestic demand.

The project also envisions training Nigerians for plant management and operation. Last year, UTM secured the front-end engineering and design contract, in collaboration with Kellogg Brown and Root, Japan Gas Corp and Technip Energies.

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Hungary: Long-Term Political Agreement Signed to Buy Qatari LNG

A political agreement has been reached on Hungary’s purchase of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar, under which the parties will sign a long-term contract for the period after 2026. This will further strengthen Hungary’s energy security, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced in Doha.


After talks with his Qatari counterpart and the ministers of energy and finance, Péter Szijjártó said that they had discussed several important issues of bilateral cooperation, such as the security of energy supply, which remains critical in Europe. He emphasized the need to

attract new and additional energy sources without replacing existing suppliers.

The politician underlined that Qatar will significantly increase its LNG exports from 2026, and that inter-company negotiations on the supply of LNG to Hungary have begun, following the previous political agreement.

The Hungarian minister also noted that both parties are most interested in a long-term contract.

With regard to possible transit routes, he pointed out that there are several options, either through LNG terminals in Turkey, Greece, or Poland.

However, the southeast European route would require the swift implementation of ongoing capacity expansion projects, he added.

Minister Szijjártó then welcomed the continued development of bilateral economic relations and the breaking of the export record. “In Qatar, it is highly appreciated that Hungary was able to prove last year that it can run its economy without EU funds, and even keep its economy on a growth path, and we were able to set an investment and an export record,” he said. “Qataris see Hungary as a very reliable and attractive investment destination. They expect progress in the coming period, especially in infrastructure investment and financial cooperation,” he added.

The politician touched on the Middle East conflict, which he stressed was a matter of great concern for the whole world and that global action was needed to prevent escalation. Among the negative developments, he cited clashes between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and attacks on merchant ships and U.S. military bases in the region.

“The past weeks of the Middle East conflict have produced a number of signs that have made the risk of escalation more serious than ever. We therefore believe that the most important task for the international community today is to prevent an escalation of the conflict in the Middle East,” he urged.

The minister also praised Doha’s role in the release of some of the hostages taken by Hamas, including three Hungarian citizens. He noted that one more Hungarian citizen might be in the terrorist organization’s captivity, and therefore asked his Qatari counterpart to help him return home as soon as possible.

He expressed the hope that the negotiations on further hostage exchanges would be successful sooner rather than later, but preferably sooner, as he had recently heard in Israel from some of the hostages and their families who had returned home about the terrible conditions.

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Algeria: Grain LNG Inks 10-Year LNG Supply Deal with Sonatrach

Grain LNG, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the United Kingdom (UK) operated by National Grid, has signed a ten-year supply agreement extending the long-term storage and redelivery capacity of Algeria’s Sonatrach from January 2029.


The agreement is for 125 gigawatt-hours per day, or three million metric tons per annum, of LNG import capacity, stemming from Grain LNG’s auction process launched in September 2023, the company said in a news release Wednesday. The financial details were not disclosed.

Grain LNG, located on the Isle of Grain in Kent, is Europe’s largest LNG terminal, connecting globally sourced LNG to the European market, National Grid said. The terminal is currently being expanded to store and deliver enough gas to meet up to 33 percent of UK gas demand, as the nation has recently seen a significant rise in LNG imports while Europe is diversifying its LNG sources, according to the release.

“Today marks another major milestone in ensuring the UK’s energy security”, National Grid Ventures President Katie Jackson said. “LNG imports play a critical role in making sure the UK has the gas it needs, when it needs it, providing a flexible and reliable supply of gas to heat people’s homes and to complement the growth of renewable generation”.

“This agreement ensures that Grain will continue to have a diverse supplier base within the Atlantic Basin. I am delighted that Sonatrach have once again shown a long-term commitment to our world-class site which UK consumers rely on, and I look forward to continuing our working relationship with them in the coming years”, Jackson added.

“We expect that LNG will continue to play a critical role in preserving economic activities and security of energy supply worldwide, and by entering into this agreement we are expressing our willingness to strengthening our position as a long-term partner of Grain LNG and as a substantial contributor to the UK gas security of supply”, Sonatrach Executive Vice President Mayouf Belgacem said. “Besides, this agreement offers Sonatrach guaranteed access to Europe’s largest LNG import terminal, which helps line up Sonatrach’s long-term marketing strategy by diversifying its LNG markets”.

Viking Link Interconnector Starts Up

Meanwhile, National Grid started commercial operations of what it said is the world’s longest land and subsea interconnector.

National Grid’s new Viking Link electricity interconnector transports power between the UK and Denmark. The link has a capacity of 1.4 gigawatts (GW) and stretches for 475 miles under land and sea to join Bicker Fen substation in Lincolnshire with Revsing substation in southern Jutland, Denmark.

The $2.15 billion (GBP 1.7 billion) project is a joint venture between National Grid and Danish system operator Energinet. It has the capacity to transport enough electricity for up to 2.5 million UK homes, bringing over $632.44 million (GBP 500 million) of cumulative savings for UK consumers over the next decade due to cheaper imported power from Denmark, National Grid said in an earlier news release.

In its first year of operation, Viking Link is expected to save approximately 600,000 metric tons of carbon emissions, which is equivalent to taking roughly 280,000 cars off the road, the company noted.

“This record-breaking new link is a fantastic example of engineering and collaboration with our partner, Energinet. As we deploy more wind power to meet our climate and energy security targets, connections to our neighboring countries will play a vital role [in] increasing security of supply and reducing prices for consumers”, Jackson said.

“Stretching further across land and sea than any of our existing links, it connects the UK to clean, green Danish energy, improving security of supply and bringing huge carbon and cost savings for UK consumers”, Jackson added.

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Banladesh: Govt okays import of LNG cargo from Singaporean firm to meet gas demand

The government will import a cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG), having 33.66 lakh MMBtu, from the Vitol Asia Pte Ltd of Singapore at a cost of Tk429.40 crore to meet the growing gas demand in the country.


Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP) in a meeting, with Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali in the chair, approved a proposal of state-owned Petrobangla in this regard.

As per the proposal, placed by the Energy and Mineral Resources on behalf of the Petrobangla, each unit of the LNG will cost $9.93, a price lowest in last two years.

After the meeting, Additional Secretary of the Cabinet Division Syed Mahmud Khan informed the reporters that the supplier was selected from the limited listed companies through a bidding in the international spot market under Master Sale and Purchase Agreement (MSPA).

The Rapid Increase in Supply of Electricity and Energy (Special Provisions) Act 2010 (Amendment 2021) was followed in this regard, he said.

Sources in the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry said Bangladesh has planned to import a total of 13 LNG cargoes from January to June this year.

This is the second cargo as the first one was approved in last week’s meeting on 22 January under which Switzerland-based company ‘TotalEnergies Gas and Power Limited’ will supply a cargo having the same volume 33.66 lakh MMBtu with each unit price  $10.88.

Earlier, the government signed ‘Master Sale and Purchase’ Agreement (MSPA) with 22 shortlisted companies  to import LNG from the international spot market.

Imports of LNG from the spot market were suspended from July 2022 to January 2023 as the price of LNG from the spot market increased many times while the government was facing dollar crisis.

Currently, the country has been experiencing a severe gas crisis as production came down to nearly 2500 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) while the demand is about 4000 mmcfd.

As a result, household consumers in many areas are not getting gas for cooking while power and industrial productions are being seriously disrupted due to gas shortage. 

In the meantime, the government increased the gas price for both captive power and public sector power generation on 18 January.

Through an order, the price of gas used for power generation was set at Tk14 per cubic metre, while the price of gas to be used in captive power and industry was set at Tk30 per cubic metre.

Meanwhile, the CCGP approved two separate proposals to import a total of 60,000 tonnes of urea fertiliser from Qatar and Saudi Arabia at a cost of Tk223.84 crore under the state contracts.

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US: US weekly LNG exports reach 24 shipments

US liquefaction plants shipped 24 liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes in the week ending February 7, while natural gas deliveries to these terminals decreased by 4.9 percent compared to the week before.

The EIA said in its weekly report, citing shipping data provided by Bloomberg Finance, that the total capacity of these 24 LNG vessels is 89 Bcf.


The agency did not release its weekly report in the prior week.

During the week of January 18-24, 2024, US terminals shipped 20 LNG cargoes.

Natural gas deliveries to US terminals down

Average natural gas deliveries to US LNG export terminals decreased by 0.7 Bcf/d week over week, averaging 13.3 Bcf/d, according to data from S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Natural gas deliveries to terminals in South Louisiana decreased by 1.4 percent (0.1 Bcf/d) to 9.2 Bcf/d, while natural gas deliveries to terminals in South Texas decreased by 15.1 percent (0.5 Bcf/d) to 2.9 Bcf/d.

The agency said that nearly all the declines in South Texas occurred at Cheniere’s Corpus Christi LNG terminal, where natural gas receipts fell by, on average, 0.5 Bcf/d, or close to 25 percent week over week.

Natural gas deliveries to terminals outside the Gulf Coast were essentially unchanged at 1.2 Bcf/d.

Cheniere’s Sabine Pass plant shipped nine cargoes and the company’s Corpus Christi facility sent three shipments during February 1 and February 7.

Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass LNG terminal sent four cargoes and the Freeport LNG terminal and Sempra Infrastructure’s Cameron LNG terminal each shipped three cargoes during the week under review.

Also, the Cove Point LNG terminal shipped two cargoes, while the Elba terminal did not ship cargoes during the period.

Henry Hub drops to $1.97/MMBtu

This report week, the Henry Hub spot price fell 26 cents from $2.23 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) last Wednesday to $1.97/MMBtu this Wednesday, the lowest price since June 12, 2023, the agency said.

The price of the March 2024 NYMEX contract decreased 13.3 cents, from $2.100/MMBtu last Wednesday to $1.967/MMBtu this Wednesday.

According to the agency, this is the lowest settlement price for the March 2024 contract since trading of this contract began 12 years ago.

The price of the 12-month strip, averaging March 2024 through February 2025 futures contracts, declined 12.5 cents to $2.641/MMBtu, the agency said.

TTF averaged $9.07/MMBtu

The agency said that international natural gas futures were mixed this report week.

Bloomberg Finance reported that weekly average front-month futures prices for LNG cargoes in East Asia rose 4 cents to a weekly average of $9.46/MMBtu.

Natural gas futures for delivery at the Dutch TTF fell 6 cents to a weekly average of $9.07/MMBtu.

In the same week last year (week ending February 8, 2023), the prices were $18.30/MMBtu in East Asia and $17.83/MMBtu at TTF.

The last time early-February prices at TTF averaged below $10/MMBtu was in 2021, the agency said.

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Columbia: New Deal With Global Gas Giant Shell Shows Canada is on the Map for LNG

A new 20-year deal by global energy giant Shell to purchase liquefied natural gas (LNG) from British Columbia is a sign Canada is becoming a player in global LNG markets, says an industry specialist.Shell has agreed to buy two million tonnes of LNG per year from the proposed Ksi Lisims LNG project located near the Alaska border, which could start operating in 2028.“Canada is on the map now for LNG.


This is a signal that the LNG demand is viable beyond 2050,” says Racim Gribaa, president of Calgary-based Global LNG Consulting.Gribaa has worked in energy for more than two decades, engaging with governments and industry on LNG developments around the world including Malaysia, the United States, Canada and Qatar.

Long-term LNG deals like the one struck by Ksi Lisims and Shell are hard to come by, he says, and are a sign that so-called LNG “portfolio players” trust the ability of Canada’s natural gas industry to deliver.

A portfolio player like Shell buys LNG from various suppliers and distributes it to buyers around the world – versus a buyer that purchases LNG solely for its own use.

“When portfolio players buy LNG, it’s not necessarily for a specific country. They can sell it anywhere they want,” Gribaa says.

“Canada’s west coast can enable them to sell cargo to efficiently meet demand in Asia without having to ship it all the way from farther locations. Instead of them shipping cargo from the Middle East, Europe, or from the U.S. thereby avoiding longer journeys around the Cape or going through the Strait of Hormuz or Panama Canal, instead they just send it straight from Canada to where they need it to go. It’s economically and logistically beneficial for them.”

Driven by expanding economies in Asia, world LNG trade has increased by more than 200 per cent since 2000, reaching 401 million tonnes in 2022, according to the International Gas Union.

Global natural gas use is rising, driving increased demand for LNG. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest outlook projects natural gas consumption will rise to 197 quadrillion BTU in 2050, up from 153 quadrillion BTU in 2022.

In addition to the deal with Ksi Lisims owners including the Nisga’a Nation, Shell is also lead owner of the LNG Canada project, which is nearing completion at Kitimat, B.C.

The terminal will have capacity of 14 million tonnes per year when it starts up in 2025. The buyers of the exports from LNG Canada are its owners, including Shell and Petronas.

Shell’s decision to purchase LNG from Ksi Lisims could ensure it has plentiful supply available regardless of the timeline of the second phase of LNG Canada, Gribaa says.

“For a portfolio player, having options is valuable. We have enough demand globally to meet both Ksi Lisims LNG and LNG Canada phase 2, especially as coal is gradually faded out from Asia’s power mix,” he says.

“The only viable solution is to replace it with natural gas through LNG, as well as renewables, so the demand is forecast to be strong for several decades to come.”

Growing Canada’s LNG exports to Asia could reduce emissions by 188 million tonnes per year, or the annual equivalent of taking all internal combustion engine vehicles off Canadian roads, according to a 2022 study by Wood Mackenzie.

Down the coast from LNG Canada at Squamish, B.C. another major portfolio player is leaning on Canadian LNG.

BP Gas Marketing is the foundational customer for the Woodfibre LNG project, where early construction is underway.

Over a 15-year period, BP will purchase 1.95 million tonnes of the project’s 2.1 million tonne per year LNG capacity, and the remaining 0.15 million tonnes per year “on a flexible basis.”

“When you have such commercial commitments inked, it provides a future perspective on supply and demand, and perhaps most importantly it asserts the importance of Canada’s role in providing the world with a clean, affordable and secure long term LNG supply,” Gribaa says.


LNG as a Marine Fuel/Shipping

China: LNG-powered CMA CGM Belem launched in China

Chinese shipbuilder Hudong-Zhonghua has launched a newbuild 13,000 TEU LNG dual-fuel containership for French shipping giant CMA CGM.

The ship named CMA CGM Belem was launched four days ahead of schedule on January 29, 2024, at the Changxing Shipbuilding Base.


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LNG-powered CMA CGM Belem has a total length of 336 meters and a width of 51 meters. It is equipped with a 14,000 cubic meter Mark III LNG cargo tank.

The ship is also equipped with the CMD-WinGD9X9DF-2.0 main engine and adopts an intelligent controlled exhaust gas recirculation (ICER) system, which can reduce methane escape in gas mode by an estimated 50% and curb greenhouse gas emissions by more than 28%.

This is the fifth unit in a series of six dual-fuel, LNG-powered containership ordered by CMA CGM in April 2021 under the $2.3 billion deal.

The fourth ship in the series, CMA CGM Bahia, was delivered in December 2023 while the construction of the sixth and final dual-fuel LNG-powered containership from the batch began in May 2023.

The French heavyweight returned to Chinese shipyards with a massive order worth $3.06 billion in April 2023 with a contract with the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) for the construction of 16 large container ships.

The order comprises twelve 15,000 TEU methanol dual-fuel and four 23,000 TEU LNG dual-fuel container vessels.

The deal is part of CMA CGM’s decarbonization agenda which has seen over 77 ‘green’ ships ordered over the past ten years worth $10.2 billion. These vessels are predominantly LNG-powered and “e-methane ready” vessels of which 32 are already in operation.

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China: China’s SWS delivers LNG-powered bulker to Anglo American

China’s Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding said it had delivered the LNG-powered bulk carrier, Ubuntu Sincerity, to mining giant Anglo American.

This is the third 190,000-dwt LNG dual-fuel bulk carrier SWS delivered to Anglo American, it said in a statement on Tuesday.


In May last year, Anglo American named two 299.88 meters long LNG-powered bulk carriers, Ubuntu Empathy and Ubuntu Humanity, at SWS.

Anglo American’s shipping unit ordered six vessels directly at SWS in 2021 for about $60 million per vessel.

However, the firm sold Ubuntu Humanity, Ubuntu Empathy, Ubuntu Sincerity, and Ubuntu Liberty to China’s Bank of Communications Financial Leasing in December 2022 and took them on charter, according to VesselsValue data.

The firm also sold the two other vessels, Ubuntu Community and Ubuntu Unity, to Greece’s Maran Dry Management, part of Angelicoussis Shipping Group, and took them on charter, the data shows.

Besides these six vessels, SWS also delivered four LNG-powered bulkers to Taiwan’s shipowner U-Ming and these vessels serve charter deals with Anglo American as well.

In January last year, Anglo American said that the company’s first chartered LNG-powered bulker, Ubuntu Harmony, had loaded its first cargo of iron ore in South Africa.

Anglo American said at the time it expects to introduce all of the ten vessels to its chartered fleet by the end of 2024.

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Singapore: Eastern Pacific Shipping completes 150th LNG bunkering

Singapore-based ship management company Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) has completed its 150th liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering operation.

The 15,000 TEU dual fuel containership CMA CGM Bali, managed by EPS, received 9,498 cbm of LNG from bunker vessel Hai Gang Wei Lai, managed by Shanghai International Port (Group) (SIPG).


“A significant milestone indeed since our first LNG bunkering operations in November 2020. To date, we have cumulatively received 404,958MT of LNG over our fleet of DF Vessels,” the ship management company said.

“We believe that sustainability begins with accountability and we continue to be committed to leading the industry’s energy transition as we work towards lowering our emissions powered by cleaner alternatives.”

Sailing the flag of Malta, the 2021-built CMA CGM Bali is one of several LNG-powered containerships ordered by Eastern Pacific Shipping and chartered to French shipping major CMA CGM. It is one of the world’s first neo-Panamax container vessels powered by LNG and using the MAN B&W 11G90ME-GI engine.

Back in 2022, CMA CGM and oil and gas company TotalEnergies launched the first ship-to-containership LNG bunkering operation at the Port of Marseille Fos in Southern France. CMA CGM Bali was refueled by TotalEnergies’ Gas Vitality with around 6,000 cbm of LNG, in a ship-to-ship transfer.

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Technological Development for Cleaner and Greener Environment Hydrogen & Bio-Methane


Germany agrees subsidy plans for Hydrogen-Ready Gas Power Plants

BERLIN, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Germany’s ruling coalition has agreed plans to subsidise hydrogen-ready gas power plants as part of a scheme to close gaps in wind and solar energy supply, the economy ministry said on Monday.


The tender process for four hydrogen-ready gas power plants with total capacity of up to 10 gigawatts (GW) would take place soon, the ministry said, without specifying a date

It said hydrogen transition plans for the plants should be drawn up by 2032 in order to be fully switched to hydrogen between 2035 and 2040. 

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa, editing by Kirsti Knolle)

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France: Air Liquide to build in the USA its largest biomethane production unit in the world

Air Liquide continues its development of biomethane activities with the construction in the USA of its largest biomethane production unit in the world. This will bring the worldwide biomethane production capacity of the Group to 1.8 TWh. The new production unit in the State of Illinois will allow Air Liquide to keep providing low-carbon solutions to its customers in the industrial and transportation sectors and to accompany them in the reduction of their emissions.


Located in Rockford, Illinois, the new production unit will produce biomethane from biogas from a solid waste treatment plant, owned and operated by Waste Connections Inc. It will have a production capacity of 380 GWh per year, which represents the largest production capacity per plant for the Group. It will be operational by the end of 2023. Another biomethane production unit from another landfill is also being built in Delavan, Wisconsin, and will be operational at the beginning of Q2 2022. Thanks to these two new units, Air Liquide is becoming a significant biomethane production player in the U.S. to accompany its customers from the industrial and transportation sectors in the USA and in Canada.

Air Liquide has developed competencies throughout the whole biomethane value chain, from biogas production from waste, to its purification into biomethane, liquefaction, storage, and transportation to distribution. For these two projects, Air Liquide will use, in addition to its own membrane technology, a complementary technology developed by Waga Energy, a company specialized in the valorization of biogas from landfill sites, founded in 2015 and supported by ALIAD, the Group’s capital venture fund.

Globally, Air Liquide now has 21 biomethane operational production units in the world for a yearly production capacity of about 1.4 TWh. After the commissioning of the two new Rockford and Delavan plants, the Group’s biomethane production capacity will reach 1.8 TWh per year.

Émilie Mouren-Renouard, Member of the Air Liquide Executive Committee, in charge of Innovation, Digital and IT, Intellectual Property and Global Markets & Technologies World Business Unit, said:

“Biomethane, like hydrogen and CO2 capture technologies, has a prominent place in the portfolio of solutions developed by Air Liquide to fight global warming and preserve the environment. The announcement of the construction of our largest biomethane production unit in the world illustrates Air Liquide’s determination to accompany its customers in the industrial and transportation sectors throughout the energy transition, but also to actively contribute to the emergence of a low-carbon society.”

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